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Oil-braked Expander Shares Oil with a Process Compressor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019404D
Publication Date: 2003-Sep-12
Document File: 1 page(s) / 29K

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Abstract

Oil-braked expansion turbines require recirculating oil to absorb the power developed by the turbine and reject it as heat. The oil system package typically includes oil tank, pump, filter, heater, cooler, piping, valves and instruments. The oil system package can be a substantial fraction of the expander system cost.

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Oil-braked Expander Shares Oil with a Process Compressor

Oil-braked expansion turbines require recirculating oil to absorb the power developed by the turbine and reject it as heat. The oil system package typically includes oil tank, pump, filter, heater, cooler, piping, valves and instruments. The oil system package can be a substantial fraction of the expander system cost.

It is suggested that the necessary expander oil supply could be provided from the lube oil system of a process compressor. It should be inexpensive to run oil supply and return lines to the expander, especially if the compressor were located nearby to the expander. Ideally the expander would need to be elevated appropriately, so that the oil return line from the expander oil brake could drain by gravity to the compressor lube-oil tank. Minimal valving and instrumentation would be required compared to a conventional expander oil package.

Process compressor lube oil systems often have substantial over-capacity and it may be possible to simply supply the expander oil requirement from the compressor lube-oil pump discharge pipe. At worst the above idea could be implemented by uprating the compressor oil pump or adding a dedicated pump, for the expander oil supply.

This idea would be especially advantageous for a small air separation plant, in which the main air compressor lube oil system supplied oil to an oil-braked cryogenic expansion turbine.

Disclosed Anonymously


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